In this paper, we propose a new method to evaluate air traffic complexity in 3-D airspace through a probabilistic measure of the airspace occupancy. The key novelty of the approach is that uncertainty in the future aircraft positions is explicitly accounted for when evaluating complexity. Analytic—though approximate—expressions of the complexity measure are derived. Prospective applications for the proposed complexity metric include the timely identification of those multi-aircraft conflict situations that would be difficult to solve because of limited maneuverability space, and the design of trajectories so as to avoid congested regions that would require many tactical maneuvers to pass them through. Numerical examples are provided to illustrate the approach. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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